Selah and the Spades

Critics Consensus

A smart, well-acted, and refreshingly messy coming-of-age story, Selah and the Spades suggests a bright future for debuting writer-director Tayarisha Poe.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 99

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34
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Movie Info

In the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old Selah Summers (Lovie Simone) runs the most dom-inant group, the Spades, with unshakable poise, as they cater to the most classic of vices and supply students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah's best friend/right hand Maxxie (Moonlight's Jharrel Jerome) becomes distracted by a new love, Selah takes on a protégée, enamored sophomore Palo-ma (Celeste O'Connor), to whom she imparts her wisdom on ruling the school. But with graduation looming and Paloma proving an impressively quick study, Selah's fears turn sin-ister as she grapples with losing the control by which she defines herself.

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Critic Reviews for Selah and the Spades

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (11)

  • Poe's feature debut, though, has a style all its own, spare but rich and able to make the umpteenth teen movie we've all seen feel fresh.

    April 28, 2020 | Full Review…

    Steve Pond

    TheWrap
    Top Critic
  • Poe - a new kid on the block who already feels like a major talent - calls a spade a spade but manages to be dreamily oblique, right to the end.

    April 21, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's impassioned, informed and sometimes furious work that could find Poe being name-checked herself not too long from now.

    April 21, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's closer to horror than the usual lightweight fare one finds in the genre.

    April 21, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The tone here isn't fun or playful or tongue-in-cheek, "Selah" takes itself dead seriously, which makes its world even less inviting.

    April 20, 2020 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • "Selah and the Spades" showcases a talented writer and filmmaker furiously struggling to find her feet. When she does, the results may be something to see.

    April 20, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Selah and the Spades

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